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Utah's governor orders Russian-made products yanked from state liquor stores

Cox also orders review of any state purchases tied to Russia
Russian standard vodka
Posted at 5:51 PM, Feb 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-26 23:39:52-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Spencer Cox issued an executive order immediately pulling all Russian-made alcohols from state-run liquor stores.

The order, issued Saturday, is a pushback on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It requires the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to immediately remove Russian-produced and Russian-branded liquors from store shelves.

"Russia’s ruthless attack on a sovereign nation is an egregious violation of human rights. Utah stands in solidarity with Ukraine and will not support Russian enterprises, no matter how small the exchange," the governor said in a statement.

In a statement to FOX 13 News, DABC executive director Tiffany Clason said one brand would immediately be pulled.

"The DABC supports the governor’s decision. At this time, Russian Standard vodka is the only product confirmed for removal. We continue to assess the origin of our products and upon confirmation, will remove those that are Russian produced or branded. We stand with Ukraine," she said.

Other liquor brands like Stolichnaya (also known as "Stoli") may fall under the executive order even though they are no longer manufactured in Russia, because the brand is owned by a Russian billionaire (but he is widely known to have disagreements with Russia's president). As FOX 13 News has previously reported on the "Utah Booze News" podcast, the top-selling liquor brand in Utah is Tito's and Barton vodka.

The executive order goes further than the visual image of empty shelves where Russian-made vodka was, however. The governor has ordered his Office of Economic Opportunity to review any procurement for any other economic relationships with Russia with the presumption of severing those contracts and incentives.

Read the executive order here: